FP3: Disaster after Android 10 update

I use a FP3 with a micro SD card (400 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro). I had formatted it as adoptable storage (interner Speicher). The smartphone is not rooted. It is a standard installation.
Last night I installed the offered Android 10 upgrade.
Now text files can’t be read anymore. Their content is totally confused.
The directories of WhatsApp Images, WhatsApp Video etc. are empty. All files disappeared. Reinstalling WhatsApp and restoring backup from Google Drive doesn’t work. Since last night the message (“Media are being restored. Preparation” (“Medien werden wiederhergestellt. Vorbereitung”) is shown.
The directories Camera in DCIM and Screenshots in Pictures are empty, too.
Installing Apps from Google Play Store doesn’t work either. For example this error message is shown: “App requires external storage. Android System WebView can’t be downloaded. Insert a SD card or a USB memory with enough space and try once more.” (“App erfordert externen Speicher. Android System WebView kann nicht heruntergeladen werden. Lege eine SD-Karte oder einen USB-Speicher mit ausreichend Speicherplatz ein und versuche es noch einmal.”)
It seems to me that the Android 10 update failed to manage an external SD card which is formatted as adoptable storage :scream:
Have anyone or the FP developers another idea what I can still do other than a factory reset?

That’s why pretty much everybody advises against using an SD as phone storage. See for example

This medium post has some tips


but I doubt that they can help you to get your data back.

Fingers crossed, though!


This is a community forum, you won’t reach Fairphone staff here like this, apart from rare coincidence.
To make certain they notice your issue you could contact support … https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us.


Hi @Thomas12
I know how you feel, as I made the same experiences years ago.
What I´ve learned is as simple as useful:
Make a backup first. No excuse. Every time you upgrade or update any IT device.
It´s a hard rule. It prevents extreme frustration.

Lots of luck getting back your data, honestly.


I’m really sorry for you. As others said before, it will be rather hard to get your data back.
I’ve had this type of issue well, and lost all the data on my card. The lesson I learnt: not to format an SD card as internal storage (as said in the #sdcardguide; I invite you to read it if you don’t already know the different options and consequences). It may be useful, but it’s a good way to lose data.

My card wasn’t recognized when I passed from android 7 to android 10 on my FP2, probably the difference was to big. I think you may want to try inserting your card in a phone under android 9 (preferably a FP3, or not, you can test multiple things), or reverting yours back to android 9, and inserting the sd card to check whether it is recognized. I doubt it’ll change anything, but if you’re ready to try and fiddle a bit, it can be worth it.

I’m joining @ElKrasso on wishing you good luck! Don’t hesitate to ask questions on what you do if you try something.


Normally I’d say that re-indexing 100s of GB of media files is going to take a while (a reindex tends be triggered by an android upgrade). The files won’t be visible until indexed. However, garbled text files and SD card not present messages aren’t a good sign.

With adoptable storage the files on SD are encrypted, with the key stored on the phone. The password that needs to be entered is required besides the key. This makes data recovery from the SD difficult (mainly for security reasons). If the key is wiped (which happens on a factory reset, but shouldn’t happen on an upgrade), recovery becomes unlikely.

I don’t know if the upgrade was tested in an adoptable storage scenario. Adoptable storage was deprecated for a reason, and if I recall the stock ROM didn’t offer the option from the menus. This may have led to the assumption that it wasn’t in use or at least wasn’t supported - and hence no testing. Pure speculation from my end. If someone has spare time to reproduce this, that could be interesting for others running adopted storage.


Same here. Yesterday I set up my Fairphone 3 the new update that came with the release of the Fairphone 3+. After that I got a new device message that my micro SD card can be integrated as internal memory, I just have to reformat the card. Then I moved all data on the card to the internal memory of the phone and formatted the card. After formatting I got the message that I can now transfer the data (photos, apps, other data) back to the card. When I finished the transfer process, I found that all my photos and other data had disappeared. I had not backed up the photos, because I assumed that the photos that were moved to the internal memory were safe. Only the folder structure is still there, but the photos are gone. Furthermore, I can’t take any more photos now, because the device ejects the message that I have no more memory (displayed as soon as I try to take a screenshot when I use the camera app, only a black image is displayed in the photo gallery that doesn’t load. As soon as I restart the device, the black photos are gone again). I didn’t reset the device because I was hoping that I might somehow still get my photos and data, but with dwindling hope. Even my PC doesn’t recognize the SD card as a hard disk anymore. Edit: gonna try the Stellar Recovry tool, although I formatted the SD (via fp3 device), there might be a chance? Update: Nope, I found way older stuff in thumbnail quality, mostly spotify cache. No recent photos.

I’m having issues after updating to 10 and integrating my SD card into the main memory. In my case the transferred apps seem to work fine but I can’t save any images to the phone. None of my camera apps can save the images they take, and images can’t be downloaded from WhatsApp - really annoying! Other apps that write to storage seem to work fine though - is there some symlinking of image storage directories that goes on and could have got broken?

Does anyone know how to reindex the phone storage as people have discussed in this thread? Failing that, how can I disintegrate the SD card and just use the internal storage? (preferably without breaking everything!)

I’ve deintegrated the SD card by following the instructions here: https://rcasupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360026267351-How-to-revert-my-SD-card-back-to-an-external-drive

On my phone the progress bar reached 100% but then gave an “out of space, please try again” warning. When I looked at the SD card status though it showed as empty and my picture storage seems to be working as normal now. I haven’t had to reinstall any apps as the article suggests.


Right now, Andorid 10 with an SD card formated as an internal storage is quite broken. The capacity shown in the Settings -> Storage is wrong. Data migration ends with an “out of space, please try again” error even though I had a plenty of space available. Apps that use the SD card are crashing, WhatsApp photos & videos are missing and can’t be restored from a backup (the restoration process hangs indefinitely).
Too bad it’s the first option on the list when doing a format, many people (including me) will assume this is the preferred choice.

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Hello Grex,
could you meanwhile recover data? How did you fix the problems with camera app (no pics saved)?
Thank you for any hint (I have excatly the same problem)

I assume this can be fixed using SD card as mobile storage (and not internal storage).


Any idea how to restore the lost fotos and videos?